REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast [2017]

“Now find it in your mind’s eye and feel it in your heart” This latest Disney epoch consisting of live action remakes/re-imaginings of their classic animated tales has the studio utilizing a few different creative motivations. The best has thus far has been their ability to find ways to create something wholly new and better from the blueprints of those that didn’t age well (The Jungle Book‘s basic sing-along and Pete’s Dragon‘s archaic values). Then there’s the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” school with Cinderella wherein the filmmakers…

Read More

REVIEW: Wild Wild West [1999]

“Never drum on a white lady’s boobies at a big redneck dance” Let’s just say that Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise dodged a bullet by backing out of Wild Wild West during its seven-year gestation. Its script probably wasn’t nearly as off-the-wall goofy at the start considering their clout as actors, but I highly doubt either would have been up for the parody it became. While the 90s were all about the television adaptation anyway—Gibson went on to do the lackluster Maverick and Cruise the effective Mission: Impossible—I’m not sure…

Read More

Posterized Propaganda April 2012: Where Art and Commerce Meet

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. There’s a good mix of work coming out in April and the posters do well to mirror such. I’m not quite sure how Chris Sparling could have his script for…

Read More

REVIEW: The Extra Man [2010]

“You may write my biography, but you will never capture my soul” Over the past two years I’ve become acquainted with the work of writer Jonathan Ames through his subtly brilliant comic noir “Bored to Death” on HBO. Naming the protagonist after himself, the young novelist—played by Jason Schwartzman—is a mess of neuroses and a man of eccentric proclivities who’s friends are a bullish depressive and a youthful older colleague and mentor. One can see striking similarities to those tropes in the new film from American Splendor directors, Robert Pulcini…

Read More

TIFF10: Day Four Recap

Day Four at TIFF had a rough start if only because we had been out until 3am the previous night. Thankfully—although we really wanted to see it—Snabba Cash [Easy Money] had sold out because if we somehow got our hands on tickets, we would have headed to the theatre at 8am with probably three hours of sleep. Instead, we met up with our Syracuse journalism friends at Tim Horton’s around 11am and headed down to the Ryerson for Robert Redford‘s The Conspirator. We would have put money down that the…

Read More

TIFF10 REVIEW: The Conspirator [2010]

“Why did I fight for the Union if my rights aren’t assured?” The aftermath of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination hasn’t really been the subject of many films that I know of. Of course there is the whole Steven Spielberg Lincoln project that has been pushed back every year since its announcement, a starting date nowhere near close at hand, but while watching a depiction of his life should be interesting, the subject of his death is more so. Here was the first murder of a President, an event no one…

Read More

REVIEW: Fierce Creatures [1997]

“Saddam Hussein presents” Fierce Creatures is the quasi-sequel to the great A Fish Called Wanda, a movie I need to revisit as well. More of an excuse for those stars to get back together and have some fun, the film brings out some big laughs with its farce, overacting, and Monty Pythonesque absurdity of events and wordplay. It may not be great comedy, but there is enough heart and enjoyment to have a good time. Really, whenever you can see John Cleese and Michael Palin onscreen together, take it as…

Read More

REVIEW: Definitely, Maybe [2008]

“I make a living” Maybe I was just in the mood for a romantic comedy with some intelligence, but as far as wondering if I liked this week’s Valentine’s release, I say … definitely. Wow, I just did that. Despite the horrible wordplay, I really found myself fall into this story of one man’s three loves told to his daughter in order to show the complexities of that, humanity’s greatest passion. Definitely, Maybe is very much your run-of-the-mill rom-com, yet something about it just resonated with me. It might be…

Read More

REVIEW: A Prairie Home Companion [2006]

Being a huge fan of the movie whose name I stole for this post’s title and his more recent Gosford Park, I was ecstatic to see that Robert Altman had gone back to his layered dialogue and fly on the wall storytelling style with the new A Prairie Home Companion, (I haven’t seen The Company but it just didn’t strike me as the Altman I love). The film is a nice, poignant tale about the final show from Garrison Keillor’s ragtag band of misfits. What a crew they were: Keillor…

Read More